have you heard of the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom? Basically, its a rough measure of how "capitalist" or "free market" a nations' economy is. Of almost 200 nations included, these are the top 30 most "capitalist" nations:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United States
- United Kingdom
- The Bahamas
Notice that all the "socialist" Scandanavians are in the top thirty!
This ranking is derived from a nations' "economic freedom score." For context, Hong Kong scores 90.0 and the United Kingdom 79.0, so there is 11 points between 1st and 10th place. This rate declines as we go down the top 30, because Lithuania scores 70.0, a mere 9 points less than the United Kingdom 20 places above. Furthermore, Denmark is only 2 places below the U.S.A., and with a mere 1.1 score difference.
Moreover, when we break down the "economic freedom score" into its constituent parts, we discover that the "socialist" Scandanavians are more capitalist than the U.S. in many important areas:
Denmark has greater business freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom while having similar property rights enforcement and trade freedom.
Iceland has greater business freedom, fiscal freedom, and freedom from corruption, while having similar trade freedom and property right enforcement.
Finland has greater business freedom, monetary freedom, and freedom from corruption while having similar property right enforcement, financial freedom, and trade freedom.
Sweden has greater business freedom and freedom from corruption, while having similar trade freedom, monetary freedom, property rights enforcement, investment freedom, and financial freedom.
Norway has greater freedom from corruption while having similar business freedom, trade freedom, and property right enforcement.
The Scandanavian countries are not really very socialist at all; the U.S. media just likes to focus on those areas that Scandanavian countries are more socialist, and all the while presumes the United States to be an exemplar of "free market capitalism." But the U.S. is less free than many other countries in many very important respects, and it is really not so far from the Scandanavian countries than many of its citizens suppose.